Lincoln PIERSON Brower

Lincoln PIERSON Brower
Sweet Briar College · Department of Biology

Ph.D. Yale University

About

169
Publications
39,648
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
9,534
Citations
Citations since 2017
15 Research Items
2423 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - present
January 1998 - December 2013
Sweet Briar College
January 1983 - December 1992

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
Long-term springtime counts of immature and adult monarch butterflies and their Asclepias humistrata host plants in north-central Florida reveal a close relationship between the milkweed’s phenology and the butterfly’s spring remigration from Mexico. Remigrant adults arrive after most frosts occur and as the milkweeds are flourishing but before the...
Article
Full-text available
The population of monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains has experienced a significant decline over the past 20 yr. In order to increase monarch numbers in the breeding range, habitat restoration that includes planting milkweed plants is essential. Milkweeds in the genus Asclepias and Cynanchum are the only host plants for larval monarch b...
Article
Full-text available
To assess the change in the size of the eastern North American monarch butterfly summer population, studies have used long-term data sets of counts of adult butterflies or eggs per milkweed stem. Despite the observed decline in the monarch population as measured at overwintering sites in Mexico, these studies found no decline in summer counts in th...
Data
Milkweed abundance in different habitats in Iowa 1999–2014. Hectares and stems in millions. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Background Selective pressures that occur during long-distance migration can influence morphological traits across a range of taxa. In flying insects, selection should favour individuals that have wing morphologies that increase energy efficiency and survival. In monarch butterflies, differences in wing morphology between migratory and resident pop...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of forest density on minimum temperature was measured in several Abies religiosa forest quadrants located in and near colonies of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus pexippus ), in the Neovolcanic Belt of Mexico. Regression analysis with forest density, altitude and date of the studies show that the minimum temperature is an inverse function...
Article
Addressing population declines of migratory insects requires linking populations across different portions of the annual cycle and understanding the effects of variation in weather and climate on productivity, recruitment, and patterns of long-distance movement. We used stable H and C isotopes and geospatial modeling to estimate the natal origin of...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of mowing milkweeds in areas visited by monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L., Nymphalidae) were studied by counting the eggs and larvae on regenerating common milkweeds (Asclepias syriaca L., Apocyanaceae) in five adjacent mowed hayfields in northern Virginia in late summer 2015. At the same time monarch larvae were counted on matur...
Article
Full-text available
As far as we are aware, the first observation in 2015 of an illegal logging operation in the Sierra Chincua overwintering area within the core zone of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico was made in April by a local …
Article
Full-text available
Seven research papers and a cover article recently appeared in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America (online, 5 August 2015) that examined several long-term monarch butterfly monitoring programs. In their cover summary, Davis and Dyer (2015) focused on three studies that concluded there had been no decline over the past two decades in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Nectar sources in Texas and northern Mexico allow monarch butterflies to accumulate lipid reserves that support them while overwintering in Mexico. In 2010–2011 this area had the worst drought on record, raising concern that limited nectar would reduce the butterflies’ lipid reserves. In October 2011, at the peak of the fall migration through centr...
Article
Full-text available
To determine if manipulation of milkweed's natural phenology would increase monarch reproduction, strips were mowed in fields in upstate New York in early Jul., late Jul., and mid Aug., 2006, for comparison to an unmowed control. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was then monitored from Jul. 29 through Sep. 24 for plant height, vegetative stage,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Monarchs survive the winter by taking advantage of microclimatic features of the high-elevation fir forest in central Mexico. The forest canopy serves as an insulating layer that moderates temperature extremes and shields the overwintering colonies from excessive solar radiation, rain, hail, snow, and wind; in these ways, the canopy protects the bu...
Article
1. We recently reported in this journal that the abundance of the migratory population of monarch butterflies is declining (Brower et al., 2011). Davis (Davis, 2011) subsequently challenged our conclusion. 2. Here, we provide further information about the increasing loss of larval habitat and how it may be contributing to the decline. 3. We also po...
Article
. 1. During the 20092010 overwintering season and following a 15-year downward trend, the total area in Mexico occupied by the eastern North American population of overwintering monarch butterflies reached an all-time low. Despite an increase, it remained low in 20102011. 2. Although the data set is small, the decline in abundance is statistically...
Article
Full-text available
Standardized measurements using well-defined landmarks are the most effective means to reduce measurement error. We describe such a protocol for monarch forewings based on single measurements with a ruler to the nearest 1.0 mm. Analysis of this protocol showed that it provides excellent intra-observer repeatability, excellent to substantial inter-o...
Article
Full-text available
During winter, monarch butterflies form dense colonies in oyamel fir forests on high mountains in central Mexico, where the forest canopy serves both as a blanket, moderating temperature, and an umbrella, shielding the butterflies from rain. In this study we investigated the vertical dimension of the butterflies' use of the oyamel forest: we predic...
Article
This chapter focuses on the monarch butterfly (. Danaus plexippus, Nymphalidae), which belongs to the tropical subfamily Danainae, the members of which are called milkweed butterflies because their larval host plants occur mainly in the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae. With the exception of the monarch, most of the 157 known Danainae species are li...
Article
The recent increase in illegal logging of the eastern North American monarch butterfly population's overwintering site in central Mexico has emphasized the need for accurate long-term population monitoring tools, especially for this population. One way to obtain indices of annual population size is to record the numbers of monarchs passing by fixed...
Article
Full-text available
In Florida, the eastern North American population of the monarch butterfly exhibits geographic variability in population structure and dynamics. This includes the occurrence of migrants throughout the peninsula during the autumnal migration, occasional overwintering clusters that form along the Gulf Coast, remigrants from Mexico that breed in north...
Article
Full-text available
1. Survival of overwintering monarch butterflies following severe wet winter storms in Mexico is substantially higher for butterflies that form clusters on the oyamel fir tree trunks than for those that form clusters on the fir boughs. 2. Thermal measurements taken at similar elevations with a weather station on the Sierra Chincua and within a Cerr...
Article
SYNOPSISThe variation in cardenolide content found in 50 individuals of Danaus chrysippus is related to the type of food plant and the sequestering efficiency of the butterfly. The toxicity of the insects to bird predators is discussed in relation to the polymorphism found in species of Danaus.
Article
Each year in eastern North America, monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), undergo an annual migration to wintering sites in central Mexico. We used monarch migration census data from Cape May, NJ, over a 13-yr period (1992–2004) to test for annual and within-season variation in the numbers of monarchs seen during da...
Article
Full-text available
Monarch butterflies form dense clusters in their overwintering colonies in the mountains of central Mexico, where forest cover provides protection from environmental extremes. We tested the hypothesis that the clustering behavior of the butterflies further moderates the microclimate they experience. We inserted hygrochrons (miniaturized digital hyg...
Article
Full-text available
Prior tagging studies at Atlantic coastal sites in New Jersey and Virginia suggested that fall migrant monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L., Nymphalidae: Danainae) of the eastern North American population have lower recovery rates at overwintering sites in Mexico compared to the overall recovery rates reported by Monarch Watch for monarchs tagg...
Article
Full-text available
1. Female monarchs were observed in the field ovipositing on a native North American milkweek host, Asclepias humistrata L. As in a comparable Australian study on an introduced novel host (Asclepias fruticosa L.) we found post-alighting rejection of plants with low and high cardiac glycoside concentration (CG). 2. Most oviposition took place on pla...
Article
1. Population and physiological measurements were made on monarch butterflies in three overwintering colonies along the California coast during the 1975–76 season. 2. Mark, release and recapture studies indicated that two northern colonies (Muir Beach and Santa Cruz) stabilized at maxima of about 40000 and 95 000 individuals with little movement in...
Article
1. At their high-altitude overwintering sites in Mexico, monarch butterflies frequently are subjected to sub-zero°C temperatures during December-March. Although monarchs have moderate supercooling ability, two ecological factors strongly influence their capacity to resist freezing: wetting and exposure to the clear night sky. 2. As shown in Fig. 2,...
Article
Full-text available
Monarch butterflies [Danaus plexippus) of the eastern North American population migrate each fall from die northern U.S.A. and southern Canada to overwintering sites in Mexico and return the following spring to the southeastern U.S.A. where they lay eggs and then die. The spring remigration is the least studied phase in the annual migration cycle....
Article
The African butterfly Danaus chrysippus, like other members of the family Danaidae, feeds as a larva on species of milkweeds (Asclepiadaceae). It has been demonstrated in a sample from a West African population that only a minority of adult D. chrysippus accumulated detectable amounts of poisonous and presumably emetic cardenolides from their larva...
Article
The endangered status of the overwintering phenomenon of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L., Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Danainae) that migrate from eastern North America to Mexico has resulted from anthropogenic degradation of the forests where the butterflies spend the winter. During their five month overwintering period, the monarchs need to...
Article
Full-text available
Overwintering monarch butterflies festooning the boughs of a cedar tree (Cupressus lusitanica Mill.) in the Ojo de Agua arroyo colony on Cerro Pelon. The density and sizes of the clusters are larger in the Pelon overwintering area than on all the other overwintering massifs. Photo by L. P. Brower, 4:02 PM, 13 January 2006. Overwintering monarch but...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the phylogenetic distribution of mating behaviors in Danaini.
Article
Full-text available
Monarch butterflies in eastern North America accumulate lipids during their fall migration to central Mexico, and use them as their energy source during a 5 month overwintering period. When and where along their migratory journey the butterflies accumulate these lipids has implications for the importance of fall nectar sources in North America. We...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1996, the numbers of migrating monarch butterßies stopping over at Peninsula Point, Michigan, have been monitored by volunteers during the fall migration with standardized daily counts. In this study, we describe this project and examine: 1) general patterns of migration and stopover of monarchs at this site, and 2) how environmental conditio...
Article
Full-text available
Since the discovery of monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) overwintering colonies in Mexico in the 1970s, it was assumed that monarchs from eastern North America migrated only to Mexico. This paper reveals that monarchs from Canada and the east coast of the United States also regularly travel to Cuba during the migration period. The natal grounds...
Article
Full-text available
Parasitism rates of the nonnative tachinid ßy, Compsilura concinnata (Meigen), on experimental populations of native luna moth caterpillars (Actias luna (L.)) were determined in central Virginia, where both C. concinnata and the gypsy moth, its biocontrol target, have become established in the past few decades. In a forest that has not yet had gyps...
Article
Expert consultation has been used to fill the information gaps that hamper conservation planning and nature reserve design. The use of expert knowledge in conservation planning is difficult, however, because it is subjective, biased, and value-laden. Decision theory provides a systematic and comprehensive means for addressing experts' subjective -...
Article
Degradation of the oyamel fir-pine forest ecosystem in central Mexico is a threat to the overwintering and migratory phenomenon of the eastern North American population of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus). Because a lack of quantitative data has hindered effective conservation policy, we photogrammatically analyzed the changing state of a...
Article
Mortality of first instars is generally very high, but variable, and is caused by many factors, including physical and chemical plant characters, weather and natural enemies. Here, a summary of detailed field-based studies of the early-stage survival of a specialist lepidopteran herbivore is presented. First-instar larvae of the monarch butterfly,...
Article
1. A novel experimental method was developed to study negative physical and chemical effects of latex and cardiac glycosides on first-instar monarch butterfly larvae in their natural environment in north central Florida. Forceps were used to nibble through the petioles of leaves of the sandhill milkweed Asclepias humistrata, mimicking the behaviour...
Article
Summary1. Monarch butterflies Danaus plexippus (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) are susceptible to infection by the obligate protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin and Myers) (Apicomplexa: Neogregarinida). Because monarchs form resident and migratory populations in different parts of the world, this host–parasite system provides...
Article
The Monarch Butterfly Special Biosphere Reserve (MBSBR) was created in 1986 to protect the overwintering sites of the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus. However, current political and economic pressures are leading government officials to consider the authorization of logging permits in the core areas of the reserve. In order to investigate how in...
Article
The cardenolide-based chemical defenses of danaine butterflies vary macrogeographically. This study demonstrates that these defenses also vary both microgeographically and temporally. We sampled 280 queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus) at 11 sites in northern Florida during the summer of 1993 and determined their cardenolide concentrations and thin-...
Article
During their 5-mo overwintering period in Mexico, tens of millions of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) form dense aggregations in forests dominated by oyamel fir trees (Abies religiosa). These forests provide a cool, moist environment that most monarchs use to maintain a state of reproductive diapause and to remain largely inactive until Marc...
Article
The results of two different sampling methods are presented for summer resident and migrant monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus L. (Nymphalidae: Danainae), in the northeastern region of North America during the period 1991-1994. Estimates of the relative numbers of butterflies obtained by the Xerces/NABA Fourth of July Butterfly Counts and by a n...
Article
Full-text available
From late August to early September, millions of adult monarch butterflies of the eastern North American population cease reproducing, become highly gregarious and begin migrating southwards. By mid-October, they migrate through central Texas into Mexico where they follow the Sierra Madre Oriental across the Tropic of Cancer. They then shift direct...
Article
Defence of leaf beetles in the genus Oreina is chemically diverse. Some (e.g. O. gloriosa) rely on the secretion of small quantities of a concentrated mixture of cardenolides that are biosynthesized de novo and stored only in special glands. Others (e.g. O. cacaliae) lack cardenolides but sequester pyrrolizidine alkaloid N-oxides (PAs) and store th...
Article
Since 1857, amateurs and professionals have woven a rich tapestry of biological information about the monarch butterfly's migration in North America. Huge fall migrations were first noted in the midwestern states, and then eastward to the Atlantic coast. Plowing of the prairies together with clearing of the eastern forests promoted the growth of th...
Article
Huge numbers of autumn-migrating monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus were noted in the US Midwest eastwards to the Atlantic coast from the mid-19th century on, a reflection of the ploughing up of the prairies and the clearing of the eastern forests, promoting growth of the host plant (milkweed Asclepias syriaca). Overwintering sites were discovered...
Article
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are unpalatable to various vertebrate predators because their larvae sequester bitter and emetic cardiac glycosides (CGs) from milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.). Here we show that the concentration of the defensive CGs decrease as individual butterflies age, regardless of the CGs' initial amounts or specific ch...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT. The evidence for migration by monarch butterflies in California is incomplete and has been difficult to interpret. This has led to the belief that these large, mobile butterflies move randomly between overwintering sites and breeding areas and do not engage in directed, seasonal migrations in California. Here we publish mark-release-recap...
Article
Full-text available
Danaus plexippus remigrating into the E USA from Mexican overwintering sites may deposit all their eggs on the early-spring milkweeds Asclepias they encounter in the S USA. It is shown that monarchs recolonize North America by successive broods of migrants and not by a single sweep of overwintered migrants. -from Authors
Article
Full-text available
Each March, Danaus plexippus remigrate north from Mexican overwintering sites. By June they are distributed across most of the E North America, north to S Canada. The authors distinguish between two alternative spring recolonization strategies: 1) "single sweep recolonization', in which overwintered individual remigrants from Mexico were hypothesiz...
Article
Almost the entire eastern North American population of Danaus plexippus migrates each autumn to overwinter at high-altitude sites in C Mexico. Although these sites are usually cool and stable through the winter, occasional episodes of freezing weather occur. Experiments determined that migrating and overwintering monarchs supercool to lower tempera...
Article
Full-text available
There was a strong correlation between the two birds' predation rates on Danaus plexippus over each season, which indicates that they feed synchronously in mixed flocks. In 1985, grosbeaks Pheucticus melanocephalus killed more monarchs than did orioles Icterus galbula abeillei, whereas in 1986 the opposite suggested a reversal in the proportion of...
Article
Summary Our paper addresses field survivorship of first instar monarch butterfly larvae (Danaus plexippus L., Lep.: Danainae) in relation to the dual cardenolide and latex chemical defenses of the sand hill milkweed plant,Asclepias humistrata (Asclepiadaceae) growing naturally in north central Florida. Survival of first instar larvae in the field w...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is the fourth in a series on cardenolide fingerprints of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus, Danainae) and their host-plant milkweeds (Asclepiadaceae) in the eastern United States. Cardenolide concentrations ofAsclepias humistrata plants from north central Florida ranged from 71 to 710 g/0.1 g dry weight, with a mean of 417 g/0.1 g. M...
Article
On sunny days throughout the overwintering season, large numbers of Danaus plexippus basking on conifer boughs within their colony repeatedly respond to periodic cloud shadow by taking flight and flying above the colony for c5 minutes before reforming clusters on the boughs. Likewise, monarchs in streaming flights down an arroyo to water reverse di...